Federal Travel Regulation (FTR); Common Carrier Transportation

CourtGeneral Services Administration
Citation87 FR 12048
Published date03 March 2022
Record Number2022-03068
Federal Register, Volume 87 Issue 42 (Thursday, March 3, 2022)
[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 42 (Thursday, March 3, 2022)]
                [Proposed Rules]
                [Pages 12048-12056]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2022-03068]
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                GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
                41 CFR Parts 300-3, 300-70, 301-2, 301-10, 301-11, 301-13, 301-53,
                301-70, 301-71, Appendix C to Chapter 301, 304-3, and 304-5
                [FTR Case 2020-300-1; Docket No. 2022-0005, Sequence No. 1]
                RIN 3090-AK40
                Federal Travel Regulation (FTR); Common Carrier Transportation
                AGENCY: General Services Administration.
                ACTION: Proposed rule.
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                SUMMARY: The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) proposes to
                amend the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) by adding definitions to the
                Glossary of Terms; adopting recommendations from agencies and the
                Senior Travel Official Council to simplify the FTR; consolidating
                duplicative regulations pertaining to the use of common carrier
                transportation accommodations; introducing premium economy airline
                accommodations as a class of service and creating management controls
                related to the use thereof; removing an outdated exception to use of a
                Contract City Pair fare; sequencing common carrier regulations in a
                more logical order; and making miscellaneous editorial corrections.
                DATES: Interested parties should submit written comments to the
                Regulatory Secretariat Division at the address shown below on or before
                May 2, 2022 to be considered in the formation of the final rule.
                ADDRESSES: Submit comments in response to FTR case 2020-300-1 to:
                Regulations.gov: https://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the
                Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for ``FTR Case 2020-300-1''.
                Select the link ``Comment Now'' that corresponds with FTR Case 2020-
                300-1. Follow the instructions provided at the ``Comment Now'' screen.
                Please include your name, company name (if any), and ``FTR Case 2020-
                300-1'' on your attached document. If your comment cannot be submitted
                using https://www.regulations.gov, call or email the points of contact
                in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for
                alternate instructions.
                 Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FTR Case 2020-
                300-1, in all correspondence related to this case. Comments received
                generally will be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov,
                including any personal and/or business confidential
                [[Page 12049]]
                information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please
                check https://www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days
                after submission to verify posting.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For clarification of content, contact
                Mr. Tom Mueller, Director of Travel, Relocation, Mail, and
                Transportation Division, Office of Government-wide Policy, at 202-208-
                0247 or by email at [email protected]. For information pertaining
                to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat
                Division at 202-501-4755 or [email protected]. Please cite FTR Case
                2020-300-1.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                I. Background
                 Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 5707, the Administrator of General Services is
                authorized to prescribe regulations regarding reimbursement for Federal
                employees traveling on official business away from their official duty
                stations. The overall implementing authority is the FTR, codified in
                Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapters 300-304 (41 CFR
                chapters 300-304).
                 GSA proposes amending the FTR by defining multiple terms, to
                include ``coach class'', ``other than coach class'' (which includes
                ``first class'', ``business class'', and ``premium economy class''),
                ``contract City Pair Program'', ``scheduled flight time'', and
                ``usually traveled route'', along with making other minor editorial
                changes in the Glossary of Terms. This proposed rule also relocates
                regulations that are informational and not directive in nature, such as
                ``What is an extra-fare train?'' (FTR Sec. 301-10.163), and more
                appropriately places them in the ``Glossary of Terms''.
                 GSA amended the FTR on October 27, 2009 (74 FR 55145) to implement
                recommendations contained in the U.S. Government Accountability Office
                (GAO) report, ``Premium Class Travel: Internal Control Weaknesses
                Governmentwide Led to Improper and Abusive Use of Premium Class
                Travel'' (GAO-07-1268). The final rule replaced ``first-class'',
                ``business-class'', and ``premium-class'' with a broad term, ``other
                than coach-class.'' Since that time, changes in the airline industry,
                such as unbundling of services and the creation of classes of service
                between coach and business class, has created uncertainty on what
                accommodations must be reported as other than coach class.
                Consequently, GSA proposes to define the term ``other than coach
                class'' to include ``first class'', ``business class'', and ``premium
                economy class'', while also clearly delineating that only first class
                and business class need to be reported as part of GSA's efforts to
                ensure against improper and abusive Government travel costs per GAO-07-
                1268.
                 Including premium economy class as its own class of service aligns
                with current commercial airline industry practice and acknowledges a
                potentially cost-saving alternative to business class accommodations
                for Federal travelers.
                 During the past 10 years, business class airline accommodations
                have accounted for about 97% of the cost of all reportable other than
                coach class transportation. Of the aforementioned 97% of business class
                air trips, 35% were authorized using the ``14-hour rule'' per FTR 301-
                10.125. As premium economy airline tickets tend to be less expensive
                than business class, particularly for flights to destinations outside
                the continental United States (OCONUS), GSA proposes to allow agencies
                to authorize premium economy accommodations when scheduled flight time
                exceeds eight hours and travel is to, from or between OCONUS locations,
                i.e., foreign and non-foreign areas. This exception for using premium
                economy is similar to travel allowances provided by the private sector
                and is aimed at reducing the use of first class and business class
                transportation with the anticipation that agencies will authorize
                premium economy where offered, instead of business or first class, when
                otherwise eligible. In the event a traveler is authorized to fly
                premium economy under the new eight-hour rule, eligibility for a rest
                period will still follow the 14-hour rule.
                 Some agencies have expressed the need for a rest period in excess
                of 24 hours when there is limited availability of scheduled departures,
                as travelers may encounter when traveling to certain foreign or remote
                locations. Accordingly, GSA proposes to add a note to section 301-11.20
                informing agencies they may authorize a rest period in excess of 24
                hours under the circumstances outlined in the proposed note.
                 Additionally, agencies are required to report annual travel data on
                certain types of travel per subpart B of FTR part 300-70. Premium class
                travel (formally known as ``other than coach class'' travel) is one
                such type of travel that requires annual reporting. Premium class
                travel reporting requirements are set forth in the FTR and do not have
                a statutorily mandated deadline for submission, which provides the
                Administrator of General Services latitude on setting reporting
                deadlines. Typically, several agencies request an extension to submit
                their premium class travel data. To provide agencies more time to
                review their data, GSA proposes to set the premium class travel
                reporting requirement as December 31 of each year (instead of the
                current 60 days after the end of each fiscal year).
                 GSA also proposes to refer to the ``premium class'' or ``other than
                coach class'' travel report as the ``first class and business class''
                travel report as reporting will be limited to only first and business
                class accommodations. The renaming of this report will avoid confusion
                with the newly proposed definitions of ``other than coach class'' and
                ``premium economy class''. Agencies will not report premium economy
                class or coach class seating upgrades in the first class and business
                class report as costs for both are likely to be substantially lower
                than business and first class accommodations and therefore pose less
                risk for travel cost abuse. To further reduce agency reporting burden,
                GSA proposes that negative submissions only be required for CFO Act
                agencies and agencies that reported the use of first class or business
                class accommodations for the previous reporting cycle. All other
                agencies may provide a negative report, but would not be required to do
                so. These changes, along with clarifying that agencies only need to
                report first class and business class accommodations, will promote a
                common understanding across Government and improve agency reporting
                requirements.
                 GSA also proposes several changes to the FTR based on
                recommendations from the Travel and Expense Management Federal
                Integrated Business Framework working group, established by GSA in
                April 2017, in which GSA worked with other agencies to develop baseline
                travel and expense management standards. For example, the group
                proposed removing an outdated City Pair Program exemption which allowed
                travelers to use a non-contract fare if smoking is permitted on the
                contract air carrier and the nonsmoking section of the contract
                aircraft is not acceptable (FTR Sec. 301-10.107(e)). In 2000, smoking
                was banned on all scheduled U.S. domestic and international airline
                flights between the U.S. and another country (65 FR 36771), which
                eventually led to smoke-free policies for airlines worldwide.
                Consequently, GSA proposes to remove this outdated exception to
                Contract City Pair Program fare use.
                 This proposed rule also eliminates the duplicative language in the
                FTR on the classes of accommodations for each mode of common carrier
                transportation, i.e., FTR Sec. Sec. 301-10.121 (air), 301-
                [[Page 12050]]
                10.160 (rail), and 301-10.182 (ship), the requirement to use coach
                class accommodations for each mode, i.e., FTR Sec. Sec. 301-10.122
                (air), 301-10.161 (rail), and 301-10.183 (ship), and the duplicative
                regulations that prescribe exceptions to when a traveler may be
                authorized use of other than coach class accommodations, i.e., FTR
                Sec. Sec. 301-10.123 (air), 301-10.162 (rail), and 301-10.183 (ship),
                into a single definition for ``coach class'', one regulation on the
                requirement to use coach class, and one regulation governing when other
                than coach class may be authorized, irrespective of the mode of common
                carrier transportation. Further, this rule proposes to eliminate
                examples of exceptional security circumstances that currently accompany
                the exception for use of other than coach class, as such circumstances
                are determined by the agency.
                 The proposed rule also clarifies circumstances under which agencies
                may authorize the use of sleeping cars on trains.
                 Lastly, due in part to the consolidation and elimination of
                multiple regulations, this proposed rule resequences the common carrier
                regulations found in FTR part 301-10. It also makes other miscellaneous
                editorial changes.
                II. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563
                 Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess
                all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if
                regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize
                net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public
                health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O.
                13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits,
                of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility.
                The Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and
                Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) anticipates that this will not be a
                significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review
                under Section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated
                September 30, 1993.
                III. Congressional Review Act
                 Subtitle E of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness
                Act of 1996 (codified at 5 U.S.C. 801-808), also known as the
                Congressional Review Act or CRA, generally provides that before a rule
                may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule
                report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the
                Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. OIRA has
                determined that this proposed rule is not a ``major rule'' as defined
                by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).
                IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act
                 GSA does not expect this proposed rule to have a significant
                economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the
                meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.,
                because it applies only to Federal agencies and employees.
                 Therefore, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has not been
                performed. GSA invites comments from small business concerns and other
                interested parties on the expected impact of this rulemaking on small
                entities.
                 GSA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the
                existing regulations in subparts affected by the rulemaking in
                accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such
                comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C 610 (FTR Case 2020-300-1),
                in correspondence.
                V. Paperwork Reduction Act
                 The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the changes to
                the FTR do not impose recordkeeping or information collection
                requirements, or the collection of information from offerors,
                contractors, or members of the public that require the approval of the
                Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.
                List of Subjects
                41 CFR Part 300-3
                 Government employees, Travel and transportation expenses.
                41 CFR Part 300-70
                 Government employees, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements,
                Travel and transportation expenses.
                41 CFR Part 301-2
                 Government employees, Travel and transportation expenses.
                41 CFR Part 301-10
                 Common carriers, Government employees, Government property, Travel
                and transportation expenses.
                41 CFR Part 301-11
                 Government employees, Travel and transportation expenses.
                41 CFR Part 301-13
                 Government employees, Individuals with disabilities, Travel and
                transportation expenses.
                41 CFR Part 301-53
                 Government employees, Travel and transportation expenses.
                41 CFR Part 301-70
                 Administrative practice and procedure, Government employees,
                Individuals with disabilities, Travel and transportation expenses.
                41 CFR Part 301-71
                 Accounting, Government employees, Travel and transportation
                expenses.
                41 CFR Part 304-3 and 304-5
                 Government employees, Travel and transportation expenses.
                Krystal J. Brumfield,
                Associate Administrator, Office of Government-wide Policy.
                 Under 5 U.S.C. 5707 and as discussed in the preamble, GSA proposes
                to amend 41 CFR parts 300-3, 300-70, 301-2, 301-10, 301-11, 301-13,
                301-53, 301-70, 301-71, Appendix C to Chapter 301, 304-3, and 304-5 as
                set forth below:
                PART 300-3--GLOSSARY OF TERMS
                0
                1. The authority citation for part 300-3 continues to read as follows:
                 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 49 U.S.C. 40118; 5
                U.S.C. 5738; 5 U.S.C. 5741-5742; 20 U.S.C. 905(a); 31 U.S.C. 1353;
                E.O. 11609, as amended, 3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 586, Office of
                Management and Budget Circular No. A-126, revised May 22, 1992.
                0
                2. Amend Sec. 300-3.1 by:
                0
                a. Adding, in alphabetical order, definitions for ``Coach class'',
                ``Coach class seating upgrade programs'', and ``Contract City Pair
                Program'';
                0
                 b. Revising the definition of ``Common carrier;
                0
                c. Adding, in alphabetical order, definitions for ``Extra-fare train''
                and ''Other than coach class'';
                0
                d. Revising the definition of ``Privately owned automobile''; and
                0
                e. Adding, in alphabetical order, definitions for ``Scheduled flight
                time'' and ``Usually traveled route'';
                 The revisions and additions read as follows:
                Sec. 300-3.1 What do the following terms mean?
                * * * * *
                 Coach class--The class of accommodation that is normally the lowest
                class of fare offered by common carriers regardless of terminology
                used. For reference purposes only, coach class may also be referred to
                as tourist class, economy class, steerage, or standard class.
                 Coach class seating upgrade programs--Under commercial air
                transportation seating upgrade programs, a passenger may obtain a
                [[Page 12051]]
                preferable seat choice or increased amenities or services within the
                coach class seating area. These upgraded choices are generally
                available for a fee, as a program membership benefit (such as frequent
                flyer) or at an airport kiosk or gate. Coach class seating upgrade
                options are not considered a new or higher class of accommodation from
                coach as the seat is lower than other than coach class accommodations
                in terms of cost and amenities (e.g., seating girth and pitch, priority
                boarding, luggage allowance, expedited food/drink service).
                * * * * *
                 Common carrier--Private sector supplier of air, rail, bus, ship, or
                other transit system.
                * * * * *
                 Contract City Pair Program--A mandatory use (see Sec. 301-10.110
                for required users) Government program that provides commercially
                available scheduled air passenger transportation services to Government
                travelers on official business. The City Pair Program offers negotiated
                firm- fixed-price fares on one-way routes between airports that apply
                in either direction of travel. Fares may be issued using one of the
                following fare types, or others that the contract City Pair Program may
                solicit:
                 (1) Capacity-controlled coach class contract fare (_CA). A contract
                City Pair Program coach class fare that is less expensive than the
                unrestricted coach class fare (YCA), but has limited inventory
                availability, meaning, once the flight reaches a certain capacity, _CA
                fares may no longer be available for booking. Unlike YCA fares, _CA
                fares are restricted by the availability of seats. Accordingly, early
                booking may increase the likelihood of booking a _CA fare. The first
                character of the three-character fare basis code varies by airline.
                 (2) Unrestricted coach class contract fare (YCA). A contract City
                Pair Program coach class fare that is more expensive than a _CA fare,
                but offers last seat (inventory) availability (unless a flight is
                already sold out), meaning, as long as coach class inventory is
                available to sell on the flight, the Government traveler can purchase
                it.
                 (3) Contract business fare (_CB). Contract fare offered by carriers
                in some domestic and international line item markets for business class
                service. The first character of the three-character fare basis code
                varies by airline.
                * * * * *
                 Extra-fare train-A train that operates at an increased fare due to
                the extra performance of the train, i.e., faster speed or fewer stops,
                or both.
                * * * * *
                 Other than coach class--Any class of accommodations above coach
                class.
                 (1) First class. The highest class of accommodation offered by a
                common carrier in terms of cost and amenities.
                 (2) Business class. A class of accommodation offered by a common
                carrier that is lower than first class but higher than coach and
                premium economy, in cost and amenities.
                 (3) Premium economy class. A class of airline accommodation that is
                lower than both first class and business class, but higher than coach
                class in terms of cost and amenities. Airlines are constantly updating
                their offerings; however, for the purposes of this regulation, premium
                economy class is considered a separate, higher class of accommodation
                from coach class and is not considered a coach class seating upgrade.
                * * * * *
                 Privately owned automobile--A car or light truck, including a van
                or a pickup truck, that is owned or leased for personal use by an
                individual, but not necessarily the traveler.
                * * * * *
                 Scheduled flight time--The flight time between the originating
                departure point and the ultimate arrival point, as scheduled by the
                airline, including scheduled non-overnight time spent at airports
                during plane changes. Scheduled non-overnight time does not include
                time spent at the originating or ultimate arrival airports.
                * * * * *
                 Usually traveled route--The most direct route between the
                employee's official station (or invitational traveler's home) and the
                temporary duty location, as defined by maps or consistent with
                established scheduled services of contract or other common carriers.
                PART 300-70--AGENCY REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
                0
                3. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 300-70 continues to read as
                follows:
                 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 5 U.S.C. 5738; 5 U.S.C. 5741-5742; 20
                U.S.C. 905(a); 31 U.S.C. 1353; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 49 U.S.C. 40118;
                E.O. 11609, as amended, 3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 586.
                0
                4. Amend subpart B of part 300-70 by revising the subpart heading to
                read as follows:
                Subpart B--Requirement to Report Use of First Class and Business
                Class Transportation Accommodations
                0
                5. Revise the subpart B heading to read as follows:
                Sec. 300-70.100 Who must report the use of first class and business
                class transportation accommodations?
                * * * * *
                0
                6. Revise Sec. 300-70.101 to read as follows:
                Sec. 300-70.101 What information must we report on the use of first
                class and business class transportation accommodations?
                 GSA issues Bulletins that will inform you of the required
                information and reporting format(s) for each trip where you paid for at
                least one segment of first class or business class transportation
                accommodations that were more expensive than coach class accommodations
                for the same itinerary. FTR bulletins are updated as necessary and
                available at https://www.gsa.gov/ftrbulletins.
                0
                7. Revise Sec. 300-70.102 to read as follows:
                Sec. 300-70.102 When must we report on the use of first class and
                business class transportation accommodations?
                 You must report to the U.S. General Services Administration, Office
                of Government-wide Policy no later than December 31 of each year. The
                reporting period is October 1 through September 30. Negative
                submissions, i.e., no data to report, are required for Chief Financial
                Officers (CFO) Act agencies and agencies that reported the use of first
                class or business class transportation accommodations for the previous
                reporting cycle. All other agencies may provide a negative report.
                0
                8. Amend Sec. 300-70.103 by revising the section heading, introductory
                text, and paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows:
                Sec. 300-70.103 Are there any exceptions to the first class and
                business class reporting requirement?
                 Yes. You are not required to report data that is protected from
                public disclosure by statute or Executive Order. However, you are
                required to report the following aggregate information:
                 (a) Aggregate number of authorized first class and business class
                trips that are protected from disclosure;
                 (b) Total cost of actual first class and business class fares paid
                that exceeded the coach class fare; and
                * * * * *
                [[Page 12052]]
                Part 301-2--GENERAL RULES
                0
                9. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-2 continues to read as
                follows:
                 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 31 U.S.C. 1353; 49 U.S.C. 40118.
                0
                10. Revise Sec. 301-2.1 to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-2.1 Must I have authorization to travel?
                 Yes, generally you must have written authorization before incurring
                any travel expense. When it is not practicable or possible to obtain
                such authorization before travel begins, your agency may approve
                reimbursement for specific travel expenses after travel is completed.
                However, written advance authorization is required for items in Sec.
                301-2.5(c), (i), (n), and (o) of this part.
                0
                11. Amend Sec. 301-2.4 by adding a new sentence to the end of the
                section to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-2.4 For what travel expenses am I responsible?
                 * * * Failure to provide sufficient justification to your voucher
                approving official for such accommodations or services will limit your
                reimbursement to the constructive cost of that which your agency
                determines to be the actual and necessary cost of the travel expense(s)
                to perform the official travel.
                Sec. 301-2.5 [Amended]
                0
                12. Amend Sec. 301-2.5, in paragraph (b) by removing ``foreign air
                carrier'' and adding in its place ``foreign air carrier or foreign
                ship''.
                PART 301--TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES
                0
                13. The authority citation for part 301-10 continues to read as
                follows:
                 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707, 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 49 U.S.C. 40118;
                Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-126, ``Improving the
                Management and Use of Government Aircraft.'' Revised May 22, 1992.
                0
                14. Add Sec. Sec. 301-10.101 through 301-10.104 to read as follows:
                * * * * *
                301-10.101 What classes of common carrier accommodations are
                available?
                301-10.102 What class of common carrier accommodations must I use?
                301-10.103 When may I use other than coach class accommodations?
                301-10.104 What must I do if I change or do not use a common carrier
                reservation?
                * * * * *
                Sec. 301-10.101 What classes of common carrier accommodations are
                available?
                 Common carriers frequently update their levels of service and use
                various terminologies to distinguish those levels of service. For the
                purposes of this title, the classes of common carrier transportation
                are categorized as coach class, premium economy class, business class,
                and first class.
                 Note 1 to Sec. 301-10.101: If an airline flight has only two
                classes of accommodations available, i.e., two distinctly different
                seating types (such as girth and pitch) and the front of the
                aircraft is termed ``premium economy class'' or higher by the
                airline and the tickets are fare coded as premium economy class or
                higher, then the front of the aircraft is deemed to be other than
                coach class. Alternatively, if an airline flight has only two
                seating sections available but equips both with one type of seating,
                (i.e., seating girth and pitch are the same in both sections of the
                aircraft), and the seats in the front of the aircraft are fare coded
                as full fare economy class, and only restricted economy fares are
                available in the back of the aircraft, then the entire aircraft is
                to be classified as coach class. In this second situation,
                qualifying for other than coach class travel is not required to
                purchase an unrestricted full fare economy seat in the front of the
                aircraft as the entire aircraft is considered ``coach class.''
                Sec. 301-10.102 What class of common carrier accommodations must I
                use?
                 For all official travel you must use coach class accommodations,
                unless your agency authorizes or approves the use of other than coach
                class accommodations as provided under Sec. 301-10.103.
                Sec. 301-10.103 When may I use other than coach class
                accommodations?
                 You are required to exercise the same care in incurring expenses
                that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business
                when making official travel arrangements. Therefore, you are required
                to use the least expensive class of accommodations necessary to meet
                your needs and accomplish the agency's mission. You may use the lowest
                other than coach class accommodations only when your agency
                specifically authorizes or approves such use as specified in paragraph
                (a), (b), or (c) of this section.
                 (a) Your agency may authorize or approve reimbursement for premium
                economy class accommodations when:
                 (1) Required to accommodate a medical disability or other special
                need;
                 (i) A disability must be certified annually in a written statement
                by a competent medical authority. However, if the disability is a
                lifelong condition, then a one-time certification statement is
                required. Certification statements must include at a minimum:
                 (A) A written statement by a competent medical authority stating
                that special accommodation is necessary;
                 (B) An approximate duration of the special accommodation; and
                 (C) A recommendation as to the suitable class of transportation
                accommodations based on the disability.
                 (ii) A special need must be certified annually in writing according
                to your agency's procedures. However, if the special need is a lifelong
                condition, then a one-time certification statement is required;
                 (iii) If you are authorized under Sec. 301-13.3(a) of this
                subchapter to have an attendant accompany you, your agency may also
                authorize the attendant to use premium economy class accommodations if
                you require the attendant's services en route;
                 (2) Exceptional security circumstances, as determined by your
                agency, require premium economy class accommodations;
                 (3) Coach class accommodations on an authorized foreign carrier do
                not provide adequate sanitation or health standards;
                 (4) Regularly scheduled service between origin and destination
                points, including connecting points, provide only other than coach
                class accommodations and you certify such on your voucher;
                 (5) Your common carrier costs are paid in full through agency
                acceptance of payment from a non-Federal source in accordance with
                chapter 304 of this title;
                 (6) Your origin and/or destination are OCONUS and your scheduled
                flight time, including stopovers and change of planes, is in excess of
                eight hours;
                 (7) The use results in an overall cost savings to the Government by
                avoiding additional subsistence costs, overtime, or lost productive
                time while awaiting coach class accommodations;
                 (8) No space is available in coach class accommodations that allow
                you to arrive in time to accomplish the mission, which is urgent and
                cannot be postponed; or
                 (9) Required because of agency mission, consistent with your
                agency's internal procedures pursuant to Sec. 301-70.102(i).
                 (b) Your agency may authorize or approve reimbursement for business
                class accommodations under paragraphs (a)(1) through (5) and (a)(7)
                through (9) of this section, or when:
                 (1) Your origin and/or destination are OCONUS;
                 (2) Your scheduled flight time, including stopovers and change of
                planes, is more than 14 hours;
                 (3) You are required to report to duty the following day or sooner;
                and
                 (4) Your agency has determined business class accommodations are
                [[Page 12053]]
                more advantageous than authorizing a rest period en route or at your
                destination pursuant to Sec. 301-11.20.
                 (c) Your agency may authorize or approve reimbursement for first
                class accommodations under paragraph (a)(1), (2), or (9) of this
                section, or when no coach class, premium economy class, or business
                class accommodations are reasonably available. ``Reasonably available''
                means available on a common carrier that is scheduled to leave within
                24 hours of your proposed departure time, or scheduled to arrive within
                24 hours of your proposed arrival time.
                 Note 1 to Sec. 301-10.103: Other than coach class
                accommodations, including upgraded contract City Pair Program fares,
                may be obtained at a traveler's personal expense, including through
                redemption of program membership benefits, such as frequent flyer.
                Sec. 301-10.104 What must I do if I change or do not use a common
                carrier reservation?
                 If you know you will change or not use your reservation, you must
                take action to change or cancel it as prescribed by your agency. Also,
                you must report all changes of your reservation according to your
                agency's procedures in an effort to prevent losses to the Government.
                Failure to do so may subject you to liability for any resulting losses.
                0
                15. Revise Sec. 301-10.105 to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-10.105 What must I do with unused Government Transportation
                Request(s) (GTR(s)), ticket(s) or refund application(s)?
                 You must submit any unused GTR(s), unused ticket coupons, unused e-
                tickets, unused e-vouchers, or refund applications to your agency in
                accordance with your agency's procedures.
                0
                16. Remove the undesignated center heading ``Use of Contract City-Pair
                Fares'' that appears above Sec. 301-10.106.
                0
                17. Revise Sec. 301-10.106 to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-10.106 Am I authorized to receive or keep a refund or
                credit for unused transportation?
                 No. You are not authorized to receive or keep a refund, credit, or
                any other negotiable document from a transportation service provider
                for undelivered services (except as provided in Sec. 301-10.123) or
                any portion of an unused ticket issued in exchange for a GTR or billed
                to an agency's centrally billed account. However, any charges billed
                directly to your individually billed Government charge card account
                should be credited to your account. You must immediately remit to the
                Government for any unused transportation expense(s) credited to your
                individually billed Government charge card account.
                Sec. Sec. 301-10.107 through 109 [Removed and Reserved]
                0
                18. Remove and reserve Sec. Sec. 301-10.107 through 301-10.109.
                0
                19. Add an undesignated subpart heading before Sec. 301-10.110 to read
                as follows:
                Use of Contract City Pair Program Fares
                * * * * *
                301-10.110 When must I use a contract City Pair Program fare?
                301-10.111 Are there any exceptions to the use of a contract City
                Pair Program fare?
                301-10.112 What requirements must be met to use a non-contract
                fare?301-10.104 What must I do if I change or do not use a common
                carrier reservation?
                301-10.113 What is my liability for unauthorized use of a non-
                contract carrier when contract service is available and I do not
                meet one of the exceptions for required use?
                301-10.114 May I use contract passenger transportation service for
                personal travel?
                * * * * *
                0
                20. Revise Sec. Sec. 301-10.110 through 301-10.114 to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-10.110 When must I use a contract City Pair Program fare?
                 If you are an employee of an agency as defined in Sec. 301-1.1 of
                this chapter, you must use a contract City Pair Program fare for
                scheduled air passenger transportation service unless one of the
                limited exceptions in Sec. 301-10.111 exists.
                 Note 1 to Sec. 301-10.110: When a contract City Pair Program
                carrier offers a lower cost capacity-controlled coach class contract
                fare (_CA) and an unrestricted coach class contract fare (YCA), you
                must use the lower cost capacity-controlled fare when it is
                advantageous and meets mission needs. A listing of contract City
                Pair Program fares is available at https://www.gsa.gov/citypairs.
                 Note 2 to Sec. 301-10.110: Employees of the Government of the
                District of Columbia, with the exception of the District of Columbia
                Courts, are not eligible to use contract City Pair Program fares
                even though these employees otherwise may be covered by the FTR.
                Sec. 301-10.111 Are there any exceptions to the use of a contract
                City Pair Program fare?
                 Yes, your agency may authorize use of a non-contract fare when:
                 (a) There are no accommodations available on any scheduled contract
                City Pair Program flight arriving to your destination in time to
                accomplish the purpose of your travel or use of contract service would
                require you to incur unnecessary overnight lodging cost which would
                increase the total cost of the trip;
                 (b) The contractor's flight schedule is inconsistent with explicit
                policies of your Federal department or agency with regard to scheduling
                travel during normal working hours;
                 (c) A non-contract carrier offers a lower fare to the general
                public that, if used, will result in a lower total trip cost to the
                Government (the combined costs of transportation, lodging, meals, and
                related expenses considered); or
                 Note to paragraph (c): This exception does not apply if the
                contract carrier offers the same or lower fare and has seats
                available at that fare, or if the fare offered by the non-contract
                carrier is restricted to Government and military travelers
                performing official business and may be purchased only with a
                contractor-issued charge card, centrally billed account (e.g., YDG,
                MDG, QDG, VDG, and similar fares) or GTR where the two previous
                options are not available.
                 (d) Cost effective rail transportation is available and is
                consistent with mission requirements.
                 Note 2 to Sec. 301-10.111: A group of 10 or more passengers
                traveling together on the same day, on the same flight, for the same
                mission, requiring group integrity and identified as a group by the
                travel management service upon booking is not a mandatory user of
                the Government's contract City Pair Program fares. For group travel,
                agencies are expected to obtain air passenger transportation service
                that is practical and cost effective to the Government.
                 Note 3 to Sec. 301-10.111: Contractors are not authorized to
                use contract City Pair Program fares to perform travel under their
                contracts.
                 Note 4 to Sec. 301-10.111: Carrier preference is not a valid
                exception for using a non-contract City Pair Program fare.
                Sec. 301-10.112 What requirements must be met to use a non-contract
                fare?
                 (a) Before purchasing a non-contract fare you must meet one of the
                exception requirements listed in Sec. 301-10.111 and show approval on
                your travel authorization to use a non-contract fare; and
                 (b) If the non-contract fare is non-refundable, restricted, or has
                specific eligibility requirements, you must know or reasonably
                anticipate, based on your planned trip, that you will use the ticket;
                and
                 (c) Your agency must determine that the proposed non-contract
                transportation is practical and cost effective for the Government.
                [[Page 12054]]
                 Sec. 301-10.113 What is my liability for unauthorized use of a non-
                contract carrier when contract service is available and I do not meet
                one of the exceptions for required use?
                 You are responsible for any additional costs or penalties incurred
                by you resulting from unauthorized use of non-contract service.
                Sec. 301-10.114 May I use contract passenger transportation service
                for personal travel?
                 No, you may not use contract passenger transportation service for
                personal travel.
                Sec. 301-10.115 through 301-10.117 [Removed and Reserved]
                0
                21. Remove and reserve Sec. Sec. 301-10.115 through 301-10.117.
                Sec. 301-10.118 and 301-10.119 [Reserved]
                0
                22. Add reserved Sec. Sec. 301-10.118 and 301-10.119.
                0
                23. Add Sec. 301-10.120 after the undesignated center heading
                ``Airline Accommodations'' to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-10.120 What must I do when different airlines furnish the
                same service at different fares?
                 When there is no contract City Pair Program fare and other carriers
                furnish the same service at different fares between the same points for
                the same type of accommodations, you must use the lowest cost service
                unless your agency determines that the use of higher cost service is
                more advantageous to the Government.
                0
                24. Revise Sec. Sec. 301-10.121 through 301-10.124 to read as follows:
                * * * * *
                301-10.121 When may I use coach class seating upgrade programs?
                301-10.122 What must I do with compensation an airline gives me if
                it denies me a seat on a plane?
                301-10.123 May I keep compensation an airline gives me for
                voluntarily vacating my seat on my scheduled airline flight when the
                airline asks for volunteers?
                301-10.124 When may I use a reduced group or charter fare?
                * * * * *
                Sec. 301-10.121 When may I use coach class seating upgrade programs?
                 Use of upgraded coach class seating options is generally a
                traveler's personal choice and therefore is at the traveler's personal
                expense. However, your agency approving official may approve
                reimbursement of the additional seat choice fee according to part 301-
                13 of this chapter or internal agency policy (see Sec. 301-70.102(k)).
                Sec. 301-10.122 What must I do with compensation an airline gives me
                if it denies me a seat on a plane?
                 If you are performing official travel and a carrier denies you a
                confirmed reserved seat on a plane, you must give your agency any
                payment you receive for liquidated damages. You must ensure the carrier
                shows the ``Treasurer of the United States'' as payee on the
                compensation check and then forward the payment to the appropriate
                agency official.
                Sec. 301-10.123 May I keep compensation an airline gives me for
                voluntarily vacating my seat on my scheduled airline flight when the
                airline asks for volunteers?
                 (a) Yes, you may keep airline compensation if:
                 (1) Voluntarily vacating your seat will not interfere with
                performing your official duties; and
                 (2) Additional travel expenses, incurred as a result of vacating
                your seat, are borne by you and are not reimbursed by the Government.
                 (b) If volunteering delays your travel during duty hours, your
                agency will charge you with annual leave for the additional hours.
                Sec. 301-10.124 When may I use a reduced group or charter fare?
                 You may use a reduced group or charter fare when your agency has
                determined, on an individual case basis before your travel begins, that
                use of such a fare is cost effective. Chartered aircraft are subject to
                the same rules as Government aircraft, and agencies in the executive
                branch of the Federal Government are subject to the requirements of
                Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-126 and 41 CFR part
                102-33 in making such cost effectiveness determinations.
                Sec. Sec. 301-10.125 [Removed and Reserved]
                0
                25. Remove and reserve Sec. 301-10.125.
                Sec. Sec. 301-10.126 through 301-10.129 [Reserved]
                0
                26. Add reserved Sec. Sec. 301-10.126 through 301-10.129.
                Sec. 301-10.130 [Reserved]
                0
                27. Add reserved Sec. 301-10.130 after the undesignated center heading
                ``Use of United States Flag Air Carriers''.
                Sec. Sec. 301-10.144 through 301-10.159 [Reserved]
                0
                28. Add reserved Sec. Sec. 301-10.144 through 301-10.159.
                0
                29. Revise Sec. Sec. 301-10.160 and 301-10.161 to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-10.160 When may I use extra-fare train service?
                 You may use extra-fare train service whenever your agency
                determines it is more advantageous to the Government or is required for
                security reasons. Use of extra-fare train service must be authorized or
                approved as other than coach class accommodations as provided in
                Sec. Sec. 301-10.103(b) and 301-10.103(c).
                Sec. 301-10.161 When may I use sleeping accommodations aboard train
                service?
                 You may use the lowest class of sleeping accommodations aboard a
                train that meets your mission needs when overnight travel is required
                and your agency determines it is advantageous to the Government.
                Sec. Sec. 301-10.162 through 301-10.164 [Removed and Reserved]
                0
                30. Remove and reserve Sec. Sec. 301-10.162 through 301-10.164.
                Sec. Sec. 301-10.165 through 301-10.179 [Reserved]
                0
                31. Add and reserve Sec. Sec. 301-10.165 through 301-10.179.
                0
                32. Revise Sec. 301-10.180 to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-10.180 Must I travel by a U.S. flag ship?
                 Yes, when authorized to travel by ship you must use a U.S. flag
                ship when one is available unless the necessity of the mission requires
                the use of a foreign ship. (See 46 U.S.C. 55302).
                Sec. Sec. 301-10.182 and 183 [Removed and Reserved]
                0
                33. Remove and reserve Sec. Sec. 301-10.182 and 301-10.183.
                Sec. Sec. 301-10.184 through 301-10.189 [Reserved]
                0
                34. Add and reserve Sec. Sec. 301-10.184 through 301-10.189.
                PART 301-11--PER DIEM EXPENSES
                0
                35. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-11 continues to read as
                follows:
                 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707.
                0
                36. Amend Sec. 301-11.20 by revising paragraph (a) and adding Note 1
                to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-11.20 May my agency authorize a rest period for me while I
                am traveling?
                 (a) Your agency may authorize a rest period not in excess of 24
                hours at either an intermediate point or at your destination when:
                 (1) Either your origin or destination is OCONUS;
                 (2) Your scheduled flight time, including stopovers, exceeds 14
                hours;
                [[Page 12055]]
                 (3) Travel is by a direct or usually traveled route; and
                 (4) Travel is by coach class or premium economy class.
                * * * * *
                 Note 1 to Sec. 301-11.20: Your agency may authorize a rest
                period that exceeds 24 hours when no scheduled transportation
                service departs within 24 hours of your arrival at an intermediate
                point. To qualify for a rest period exceeding 24 hours, you must be
                scheduled to board the first available scheduled departure. Your
                agency will determine a reasonable additional length of time for any
                rest period exceeding 24 hours.
                0
                37. Amend Sec. 301-11.26 by revising the table to read as follows: in
                the second row of the second column of the table by removing ``SP&P/
                Allowances Branch'' and adding ``Policy and Regulations Division'' in
                its place, and by removing ``Suite 04J325-01'' and adding ``Suite
                04J25-01'' in its place.
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 For non-foreign For foreign area
                 For CONUS locations area locations locations
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                General Services Defense Travel Director, Office of
                 Administration, Office of Management Allowances, Department
                 Government-wide Policy, Office, Attn: of State, Annex 1, Suite
                 1800 F St. NW, Washington, Policy and L-314, Washington, DC
                 DC 20405. Regulations 20522-0103.
                 Division, 4800
                 Mark Center
                 Drive, Suite
                 04J25-01,
                 Alexandria, VA
                 22350-9000.
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                PART 301-13--TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
                0
                38. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-13 continues to read as
                follows:
                 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707.
                0
                39. Amend Sec. 301-13.3 by revising the introductory paragraph and
                paragraph (f) to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-13.3 What additional travel expenses may my agency pay
                under this part?
                 Your agency approving official may pay for any expenses deemed
                necessary by your agency to accommodate your special need including,
                but not limited to, the following expenses:
                * * * * *
                 (f) Other than coach class accommodations to accommodate your
                special need, under subpart B of part 301-10 of this subchapter; and
                * * * * *
                PART 301-53--USING PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL AND FREQUENT TRAVELER
                PROGRAMS
                0
                40. The authority citation for part 301-53 continues to read as
                follows:
                 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 31 U.S.C. 1353.
                Sec. 301-53.4 [Amended]
                0
                41. Amend Sec. 301-53.4 by removing ``Sec. Sec. 301-10.109 and 301-
                10.110'' and adding ``Sec. Sec. 301-10.113 and 301-10.114'' in its
                place.
                0
                42. Revise Sec. 301-53.5 to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-53.5 Are there exceptions to the mandatory use of contract
                City Pair Program fares and an agency's travel management service?
                 Yes, the exceptions are in accordance with Sec. Sec. 301-10.111
                and 301-10.112 of this chapter for the mandatory use of a contract City
                Pair Program fare, and Sec. 301-73.103 of this chapter for the
                mandatory use of a travel management service.
                Sec. 301-53.6 [Amended]
                0
                43. Amend Sec. 301-53.6 by removing ``Sec. 301-10.116'' and ``Sec.
                301-10.117'' and adding ``Sec. 301-10.122'' and ``Sec. 301-10.123''
                in their places, respectively.
                PART 301-70--INTERNAL POLICY AND PROCEDURE REQUIREMENTS
                0
                44. The authority citation for part 301-70 continues to read as
                follows:
                 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); Sec. 2, Pub. L.
                105-264, 112 Stat. 2350 (5 U.S.C. 5701, note); OMB Circular No. A-
                126, revised May 22, 1992; OMB Circular No. A-123, Appendix B,
                revised January 15, 2009.
                0
                45. Amend Sec. 301-70.102 by revising paragraphs (b)(1) and(3), (d),
                (i), and (k) to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-70.102 What governing policies must we establish for
                authorization and payment of transportation expenses?
                * * * * *
                 (b) * * *
                 (1) Use of other than coach class transportation under Sec. 301-
                10.103 of this chapter;
                * * * * *
                 (3) Use of an extra-fare train service under Sec. 301-10.160;
                * * * * *
                 (d) When you consider the use of a POV advantageous to the
                Government, such as travel to and from common carrier terminals or to
                the TDY location. When determining whether the use of a POV to a TDY
                location is the most advantageous method of transportation, you must
                consider the total cost of using a POV as compared to the total cost of
                using a rental vehicle, including rental costs, fuel, taxes, parking
                (at a common carrier terminal--not to exceed the cost of taxi or
                transportation network company fare, etc.), and any other relevant
                costs;
                * * * * *
                 (i) Develop and issue internal guidance on what specific mission
                criteria justify use of other than coach class transportation under
                Sec. 301-10.103(a)(9) and the use of other than the least expensive
                compact car available under Sec. 301-10.450(c). The justification
                criteria shall be noted on the traveler's authorization.
                * * * * *
                 (k) Develop and publish internal guidance regarding when coach
                class seating upgrade fees will be authorized as advantageous to the
                Government and reimbursed (see Sec. 301-10.121).
                0
                46. Amend Sec. 301-70.401 by revising paragraph (a) to read as
                follows:
                Sec. 301-70.401 What governing policies and procedures must we
                establish regarding travel of an employee with a disability or special
                need?
                * * * * *
                 (a) Who will determine if an employee has a disability or special
                need which requires accommodation, including when documentation is
                necessary under Sec. Sec. 301-10.103 and 301-10.121, and when a
                determination may be based on a clearly visible and discernible
                physical condition; and
                * * * * *
                PART 301-71--AGENCY TRAVEL ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS
                0
                47. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-71 continues to read as
                follows:
                 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); Sec. 2, Pub. L.
                105-264, 112 Stat. 2350 (5 U.S.C. 5701 note).
                0
                48. Amend Sec. 301-71.105 by revising to read as follows:
                Sec. 301-71.105 Must we issue a written travel authorization in
                advance of travel?
                 Yes, except when advance written authorization is not possible or
                practical and approval is in accordance with Sec. Sec. 301-2.1, 301-
                2.5, or 304-3.13. However, the following always require advance written
                authorization:
                 (a) Use of reduced fares for group or charter arrangements;
                 (b) Payment of a reduced rate per diem;
                [[Page 12056]]
                 (c) Acceptance of payment from a non-Federal source for travel
                expenses (see chapter 304 of this title); and
                 (d) Travel expenses related to attendance at a conference.
                Appendix C to Chapter 301
                0
                49. Amend appendix C to chapter 301 by--
                0
                a. Revising the entry for ``Transportation Method Indicator'' in the
                table for ``Commercial Transportation Information''; and revising the
                entry for ``Transportation Method Indicator'' in the table ``Travel
                Expense Information''. The revisions read as follows:
                Appendix C to Chapter 301--Standard Data Elements for Federal Travel
                [Traveler Identification]
                * * * * *
                 Commercial Transportation Information
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Group name Data elements Description
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                
                 * * * * * * *
                Transportation Method Air (other than Common carrier used
                 Indicator. coach class). as transportation to
                 TDY location.
                 Air (coach class)
                 Non-contract Air,
                 Train, Other.
                
                 * * * * * * *
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Travel Expense Information
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Group name Data elements Description
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                
                 * * * * * * *
                Transportation Method Air (other than The amount of money
                 Indicator. coach class). the transportation
                 actually cost the
                 traveler, entered
                 according to method
                 of transportation.
                 Air (coach class)
                 Non-contract Air,
                 Train.
                 Other............ Bus or other form of
                 transportation.
                
                 * * * * * * *
                ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                * * * * *
                PART 304-3--EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITY
                0
                50. The authority citation for part 304-3 continues to read as follows:
                 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 31 U.S.C. 1353.
                0
                51. Revise Sec. 304-3.9 to read as follows:
                Sec. 304-3.9 May I use other than coach class accommodations on
                common carriers when a non-Federal source pays in full for my common
                carrier expenses to attend a meeting?
                 Yes, you may use other than coach class accommodations on common
                carriers if you meet one of the criteria contained in Sec. 301-10.103
                of this title, and are authorized to do so by your agency in accordance
                with Sec. 304-5.5 of this chapter.
                PART 304-5--AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES
                0
                52. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 304-5 continues to read as
                follows:
                 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 31 U.S.C. 1353.
                0
                52. Amend Sec. 304-5.5 by revising the section heading, introductory
                text, and paragraph (c) to read as follows:
                Sec. 304-5.5 May we authorize an employee to use other than coach
                class accommodations on common carriers if we accept payment in full
                from a non-Federal source for such transportation expenses?
                 Yes, you may authorize an employee to use other than coach class
                accommodations on common carriers as long as the:
                * * * * *
                 (c) Travel meets at least one of the conditions in Sec. 301-10.103
                of this title.
                [FR Doc. 2022-03068 Filed 3-2-22; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 6820-14-P
                

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